New dangerous coronavirus "MERS-CoV": Questions and Answers

The new coronavirus (nCoV), officially dubbed the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), has recently made itself talk more and more often. A new coronavirus infection was first reported in Saudi Arabia. in 2012. To date, MERS-CoV has been laboratory-confirmed in 64 cases, 38 of which have been fatal. The spread of the virus has already affected 8 countries: Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, France, Germany, Great Britain, the United Arab Emirates, Tunisia and Italy.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), we are talking about a special strain of the virus that has not previously been detected in humans or animals.

Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General, expressed serious concern that there is very little information about the new coronavirus, and it is spreading faster than our understanding of its nature and treatment methods. WHO experts hope to fill in the gaps as soon as possible by providing the world community with more information on this subject. Today it is impossible to reliably say exactly how a person is infected, whether animals are carriers of the virus, whether contaminated surfaces are associated with infection, how widespread the virus is.

Coronavirus: why did he get such a name?

Coronaviruses, first discovered in the 1960s, got this name because of the villi on the envelope of the virus, which in shape resemble the solar corona during an eclipse. Coronaviruses cause respiratory infections in both humans and animals.

Where does the new coronavirus come from?

The first case of infection with a new coronavirus infection was recorded in Saudi Arabia in 2012 - it claimed the life of a 60-year-old man. In a second patient, a 49-year-old Qatari, the first symptoms appeared last September, and the infection was confirmed at the laboratories of the Health Protection Agency in Colindale, North London.

Dr. Susie Wiles, a microbiologist and specialist in infectious diseases at the University of Auckland, in an interview with the British newspaper The Guardian noted that “most infections occurred in hospitals, such as happened in France. However, people were in hospitals for other reasons. It can be suggested that some comorbidities may make people more vulnerable to MERS-CoV infection. ”

What are the main symptoms of a new coronavirus infection?

So far, specialists do not have enough information regarding the symptoms inherent in a new coronavirus infection. In confirmed cases, the following symptoms were observed in patients: fever, cough, shortness of breath, shortness of breath. It is not known for certain whether these symptoms are typical of a given disease.

How is coronavirus infection treated?

Due to the lack of more or less specific information about a new infection, one does not have to talk about any specific treatment yet. Mostly in the treatment process, emphasis is placed on the restoration of respiratory function.

How can I get a new coronavirus infection?

Similar viruses usually spread in a similar manner as the flu virus. That is why experts suggest that a new coronavirus can be transmitted from person to person if an infected person, for example, coughs or sneezes. According to WHO, the new coronavirus is transmitted from person to person after close and prolonged contact.

How contagious is the new infection?

According to The Health Protection Agency (UK), the impression is that the transmission of the virus is "very limited." If he were very contagious, there would be more cases in more countries. The incubation period, as currently considered, is 7-14 days.

Where did the new coronavirus come from?

It is not yet known for certain. Perhaps this is a mutation of an existing virus. Some new infections come from viruses circulating among animals and birds. They are known as zoonoses. Such viruses can cause small infections in some species and more serious in others. There is no sufficient evidence that this is a zoonosis.

Is there a vaccine for the new coronavirus?

Not.

What should I do if I plan a trip to the Middle East?

There is no definite answer to this question. WHO experts believe that you do not need to abandon your plans, while recommending that you take precautions when traveling and monitor your health, and yet, if possible, advise you to refrain from traveling to Saudi Arabia.

What should I do if a trip to the Middle East cannot be canceled?

First of all, it is recommended to observe basic hygiene rules.

In particular, it is necessary:

wash hands often with soap or wipe them with disinfectant wipes;
try not to touch the eyes, nose, mouth;
avoid closely

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